Mail has always kind of been A Thing with me. When I was but a grade school whipper-snapper, I signed up for one of those cross-country pen-pals just so I might get the occasional piece of pseudo-meaningful correspondence. He lived in California and his letters always came in envelopes with that blue and red striping around the edges. I probably haven’t thought about him in 30 years. Of course, in retrospect, “Benji” could have easily been a prison inmate and I wouldn’t have known any better.
Truth be told, though, it didn’t matter anyway.
As a 9 year-old, my only incoming mail consisted of the annual Sears and Roebuck catalog (which was critical pre-Christmas reading), or the occasional boring “Thank You” note from one of my teachers or a great aunt. And, of course, those were always addressed to “Master Puddin” but everyone knew they were really meant for mom since she was the one that had handled gifts in the first place.
Anyway, I still have an unhealthy compulsion when it comes to mail. It’s not postal service mail that thrills me anymore, though. Nowadays it’s email, twitter mentions or DMs, Facebook messages, what-have-you. I can only assume it’s the result of some sort of subconscious need for validation. Whatever it is, yes, I’m the type of person that twitches slightly at the chime of my desktop mail client or the chirp of a new message on my phone.
Of course, that was before I started sending out query email to prospective agents. Not too many at once, because I’m researching them carefully and taking my time. But still, with five or six submissions out there at any given moment, that digital woop of my Android could be Big! Exciting! News!
Then again it could also be just another hook-up for cheap little, blue, “man” pills (if you know what I mean), an online Associate’s degree in such up-and-coming fields as Aquatic Basketry, or the ever-tempting proposal from that nice President of Finance from Nigeria. He just needs to my checking account information to deposit 27.4 million dollars, you know.
Sadly, it doesn’t matter what the actual email is about, knowing I have queries out there makes something in the back of brain lose all apparent ties to reality in the few seconds between registering that sound and looking at my inbox. And in that few seconds, I am shamefully reduced to one of those tiny, yappy dogs that somehow defies the basic physical laws of the Universe by springing into the air 6 times it’s own height whenever someone so much as thinks the word “outside”.
In my head, it goes something like this:
Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh! Squeeee! That email could be from an agent! A query! A query! A query! Maybe this is it! Maybe this is it! Maybe this is it!
That’s followed, of course, by the “wheeeeeeeeeee” sound made by the Geico zip-line pig.
The worst part is, it doesn’t matter what time of day or day of the week the email in question arrives. It could be 12:17 AM, after midnight on a Sunday evening, just before bedtime, and I’ll still temporarily go ape-balls over an email.
There’s one now!
So what about you? Am I alone in this or do you rip your phone out like a modern-day gunslinger the instant you get mail? Is your compulsion a standard, every-day kind of thing, or is there something on it’s way to you that has you all worked up into such an anticipatory frenzy?
Inquiring minds want to know!
And now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to go see how many times I can click “Send and Receive” in a 45 second period.